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oundabout Safety Facts​​

These safety improvements were achieved after roundabouts replaced 13 intersections with 55 mph speed limits:

  • Total crashes: Down 41%
  • Fatal and injury crashes: Down 79%
  • Frontal-impact crashes: Down 62%
Source: NCDOT’s Traffic Safety Unit (2020)

Similar results were found after 30 roundabouts were constructed across North Carolina​:

  • Total crashes: Down 46%
  • Fatal and injury crashes: Down 76%
  • Front-impact (head-on) crashes: Down 75%​
Source: NCDOT's Mobility and Sa​​fety Division (2011)​​
​The N.C. Department of Transportation builds roundabouts to improve safety for drivers,​ pedestrians and bicyclists. They also help reduce the congestion and backups more typical of traditional intersections with stop signs and traffic signals.

A driver generally enters the roundabout more quickly than if waiting at a traffic signal. In addition, the modern roundabout is much smaller than older traffic circles and requires vehicles to travel at lower speeds (15-20 mph), making them safer than traffic circles. Additionally, the slower speeds make it easier for a driver to find a gap of traffic inside the roundabout before safely entering it.​

Driving Through a Roundabout

A roundabout is easy to drive through once you understand how it works. As you approach it, you’ll see a yellow “roundabout ahead” sign, indicating you should slow down. 

Drivers yield to any vehicles or bicyclists already in the roundabout. Everyone using the roundabout moves in a counterclockwise direction, and those already in it do not yield to approaching vehicles. 

Drivers should use turn signals when exiting and yield to pedestrians using the crosswalk at the roundabout.

Single-Lane Roundabout

  • Once inside the roundabout, you simply exit at the desired street. 
  • Travel a quarter of the way around to turn right at the next street.
  • Go halfway around to continue straight.
  • Instead of making a traditional left turn, go three-quarters around before exiting to the right.
  • Travel full circle to make a U-turn.

Multil​ane Roundabout

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Learn More​

    An example on how to manuver through a multilane roundabout
    Watch this short video​​ to see how easy it is to travel a multilane roundabout.​​
    As you approach, observe signs and pavement markings to choose the appropriate lane before entering the roundabout.
  • Typically, you will be in the right lane to exit right out of the roundabout.
  • You stay in the left lane to go straight through the roundabout (halfway around) or to exit to the right three-quarters of the way around.
  • Stay in the left lane as you enter the roundabout and go full circle to make a U-turn
  • Do not change lanes while in the roundabout.

Roundabout Tips & Reminders

  • Remember to give larger trucks and buses extra room, as they might need to straddle the lane.
  • Big trucks should use the concrete island – called the truck apron – to help drivers maneuver around the roundabout.
  • Never enter a roundabout while an emergency vehicle using flashing lights and sirens is passing through. If drivers are already in the roundabout, exit first, then pull over to let the emergency vehicle pass.
  • Bicyclists should pick the appropriate lane before entering a multi-lane roundabout and stay in the middle of their chosen lane. Do not ride along the shoulder of the roundabout.
  • Drivers should not pass a bicyclist while inside the roundabout.
  • Pedestrians should use marked crosswalks along the outside of the roundabout, and not walk through the middle of it.

4/16/2021 9:59 AM